There are a whole lot of decisions that cause controversy at Christmas: which are the best tins of sweets to buy? Turkey or Salmon? Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Eating out or in? Dressing up or a PJ day? The list is endless. My answers are for sure: Quality street, turkey, Christmas morning, eating in and dressing up, just FYI.
But, perhaps the greatest cause of controversy comes from the great tree debate. There are what I call 'real tree snobs', who utter 'oh you don't buy those plastic ones do you, daahling?' in a derisory tone, and the people who take down the same battered but beloved fake tree from the loft each year. And then there's a whole lot of us in between.
I really struggled to find a picture of the Christmas tree of my childhood, so we'll have to settle with this picture of me and my sister as littluns, uncomfortably cuddled up with half our tree crammed in the picture with us. Up until this year, I've had the same Christmas tree. It was a little wonky, and there were no branches left bare because of all the decorations we've gathered over the years, but in my eyes it was beautiful.
This year, as I've mentioned to you all about 30 times (I'm excited okay?), it's my first year not spending Christmas at my parents' house, and it's the same for my boyfriend. SO, we had to make the biggest decision of the season: to go real or to go fake. As you can probably tell from the pictures at the start of this post, we went for real trees. And yes, that is a plural. I have a mini potted one in my office as well as our main living room one! Here's a list I've made for you all on the pros and cons of each type of tree:
Real trees - pros
The smell. Fresh pine is beautiful, and if you cut open some of the little 'warts' on the tree trunk, then the tree smells extra strong, mmmm.
It's something we should all experience having at some point in our lives. Neither me nor my boyfriend have so we were extra excited.
The novelty of going and picking out your perfect tree.
They don't end up on landfills.
You can grow your own if you're willing to wait seven or so years.
You get to choose the perfect size/shape for your home.
Real trees - cons
The spines are damn sharp. And itchy.
Needles dropping, everywhere.
The hassle of trying to get it into your car.
Heavy baubles can make the branches sag easily.
You need to water it.
Putting it into its stand without making it wonky is SO fiddly.
Fake trees - pros
You can use them year after year.
The loft ends up smelling like Christmas and bringing your tree down every year comes with lots of scent-induced memories.
It's a one-time cost for at least a few years.
You can get them pre-lit with fairy lights and even pre-baubled.
They're easy to pick up in all the local supermarkets.
The branches are easy to bend to support baubles better.
The spindles are soft and non-irritating.
They are always perfectly symmetrical.
Fake trees - cons
It's hard to get rid of them, even if they look a bit sad, because they hold so many memories
Pets just seem to want to destroy them. Why are they extra tasty?
They just don't feel as special as real trees.
Getting a good quality one can be very expensive.
I've tried not to just include the opposites for each pro/con set so that there's a good range of things here for you to think about. Let me know what you would add to the list, and whether you've gone for a real or fake one this year!